- - Tuesday, August 23, 2011

FRANCE

Socialists hail demise of Strauss-Kahn case

PARISFrance’s Socialists are lauding a move by New York prosecutors to drop the attempted rape case against prominent party figure Dominique Strauss-Kahn, after a stormy two months for the ex-International Monetary Fund chief that upended the French presidential race.

A New York judge dismissed the U.S. case Tuesday at the request of prosecutors, who expressed concerns about the credibility of the hotel chambermaid who accused him.


But few expect Mr. Strauss-Kahn — once considered a leading contender for France’s top job — to jump back into politics very soon.

A civil case is still pending in New York, and investigators are probing another attempted rape accusation against him in France.

His own political allies and some French voters appeared eager Tuesday to move forward with the presidential campaign and let Mr. Strauss-Kahn recover from the last few months in peace.

French Socialist Party chief Martine Aubry called it “an immense relief” that the prosecutors are abandoning the case.

SYRIA

Opposition tries to unite; divisions remain

BEIRUT — Syria’s fragmented opposition took steps toward forming a national council Tuesday, but serious divisions and mistrust among the members prevented them from presenting a unified front against President Bashar Assad’s regime more than five months into the country’s uprising, participants said.

Syria’s opposition, fragmented by years of sectarian and ideological tensions, has made unprecedented gains against the regime, but there is no clear leadership or platform beyond the demands for more freedom and for Mr. Assad to step down.

With Mr. Assad’s forces cracking down on the protests, the overall death toll has reached 2,200, the United Nations said this week.

CHILE

Chile faces 2-day shutdown over ‘utopian’ demands

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